April 14, 2021
Healthy Living: The Importance of Diet and Exercise
- Family Medicine
- Wellness Institute
July 11, 2018 • Value-Based CareWeight Management
Obesity affects approximately 39.8 percent of adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than 70 percent of adults are overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese can lead to a variety of health problems, but what a lot of people don’t know is that even being slightly overweight can increase your risk. Here’s a look at how weight affects your health.
Being overweight or obese can affect many facets of well-being including physical, psychosocial and financial health.
Excess weight increases your risk for several conditions:
Being overweight may also limit your eligibility to undergo certain medical procedures. It’s important to work with your doctor to monitor your conditions and develop a plan together to maintain a healthy weight.
Although many people consider obesity to be a physical problem, it is equally a psychological problem. For example, some psychological conditions can contribute to weight gain, such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders. But being overweight or obese can also lead to the development of psychological conditions.
Unfortunately, the “perfect body” as defined by society is not inclusive of overweight or obese people. For this reason, many people who are overweight tend to feel self-conscious and internalize what they perceive other people say or think about them. These feelings can increase the risk of mood disorders and substance abuse.
It can be difficult to seek help for someone dealing with the psychosocial effects of being overweight, but there are resources available, including behavioral or cognitive therapy, support groups, mental counselors and others. Talk to your doctor about the resources available to you.
Obesity has a tremendous economic impact, leading to lost productivity, disability, premature death, increased life insurance premiums, etc. Additionally, treating obesity and obesity-related condition accounts for billions of healthcare dollars each year. Research shows obese adults spend 42 percent more on healthcare costs than adults with a healthy weight.
If you are struggling with your weight, know that you are not alone. If you don’t know where to start, go to your primary care provider. S/he can help put you on the path to achieving your health and weight loss goals so you can live a healthier, happier life.
“Adult Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
“What are the health consequences of being overweight?” World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/features/qa/49/en/
“Effects of Obesity.” Stanford Health Care. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/healthy-living/obesity.html
“Health Risks of Being Overweight.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-risks-overweight
“Behavioral and Psychological Factors in Obesity.” Journal of Lancaster General Hospital. http://www.jlgh.org/past-issues/volume-4—issue-4/behavioral-and-psychological-factors-in-obesity.aspx
“The Economic Impact of Obesity in the United States.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047996/
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.